Historical Milestones 1959-1968


  • Drafting of the Agreement Establishing the Bank by the Special Advisory Commission of the Inter-American Economic and Social Council of the OAS.
  • Establishment of the IDB on December 30, after the Agreement is ratified by 18 countries: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haití, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and the United States.
  • Initial resources: $1 billion, $850 million of which is authorized for the ordinary capital ($400 million payable in cash), and $150 million for the Fund for Special Operations (FSO).


  • Uruguay and Venezuela ratify the Agreement Establishing the Bank.
  • First Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors, in El Salvador. First Board of Executive Directors elected and Felipe Herrera named President of the IDB.
  • Operations begin on October 1, with 87 officials and 101 administrative support and secretarial employees at Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C.
  • First technical assistance: $61,500 for institutional strengthening of the mining sector in Bolivia.
  • Library created, which shall eventually bear the name of Felipe Herrera.


  • In the framework of the Alliance for Progress, the United States puts the $394 million Social Progress Trust Fund (SPTF) under IDB administration.
  • First loan: $3.9 million, from the ordinary capital, for water and sewerage in Arequipa, Peru. Other loans for this sector benefit Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Uruguay and Venezuela.
  • First FSO funding: $10 million for a global agriculture, electrical energy and industrial credit program in Bolivia.
  • First loans for agriculture (including agrarian reform), energy, transportation and housing.
  • Pioneering technical assistance operations for 14 countries.
  • The IDB supports establishment of the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) by providing technical cooperation financing.
  • Publication of the Annual Report of the Social Progress Trust Fund, later called Socio-Economic Progress in Latin America and finally called Economic and Social Progress in Latin America (IPES).
  • Appointment of first Bank representatives in Bolivia and Europe, which occurred at the same time as appointment of resident country engineers and the creation of regional offices that became the system of country offices in each and every one of the borrowing member countries.


  • First loans for higher education to benefit universities in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Peru.
  • First loans for science and technology, for the Mexican Institute of Technological Research.
  • First bond issues in Italy for 15 billion lira, equivalent to $24 million.
  • First bond issues in the United States, for $75 million.
  • Felipe Herrera opens in Paris the Bank's Special Office in Europe.


  • Creation of a program to finance capital good exports between borrowing countries in order to promote the sector and foment integration.
  • First loan for $6 million to a subregional development bank, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration.


  • First Increase in Resources: $1.3 billion in the ordinary capital ($300 million of which is authorized for countries that will eventually become new members of the Bank with a cash contribution of $75 million), and $73 million in the FSO. A complementary increase is added in 1965 to the FSO for $900 million.
  • The United States increases the resources of the SPTF by $131 million.
  • The Canadian International Development Agency places a fund for concessional-term condition project financing under administration of the IDB.
  • First lines of credit for export financing, benefiting Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico.
  • Release of a report for Colombia and Venezuela on border integration. Loan for an electrical project in Colombia that includes a connection with Venezuela.


  • First Increase in Resources, complement of $900 million to the FSO. Governors authorize to direct financing from the FSO toward social development, which had been coming out of the SPTF.
  • Creation of the Institute for Latin American Integration (INTAL), headquartered in Buenos Aires.
  • First loan to mitigate the effects of a natural disaster: $5.2 million to Costa Rica in the aftermath of the eruption of Irazú Volcano.
  • First loan for a binational integration project: a highway from Paranaguá Brazil to the Paraguayan border, and improvements to the port of Paranaguá used for Paraguayan exports.
  • Over the first five years of the IDB, 17 percent of loans from the ordinary capital go to private enterprises without government guarantee, 32 percent to private enterprises through development institutions, and 51 percent to governments and government entities.


  • First financing of telecommunications sector, for $250,000. Support targeted to studies for improvement of the sector and use of satellites for integration purposes.
  • Pre-Investment Fund for Latin American Integration established.
  • The IDB and the Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Science, which later became the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), agree to coordinate agricultural credit and agrarian reform training efforts.
  • The United Kingdom and Sweden each put trust funds under the administration of the IDB, representing $11.6 million and $5 million, respectively. These are the first trust funds created by nonregional countries.
  • First short-term bond issues that are sold at face value to the central banks and public finance agencies of 15 Latin American member countries of the IDB, Spain and Israel totaling $65 million.


  • Second Increase in Resources: $1.2 billion in the FSO.
  • Trinidad and Tobago joins the Bank.
  • New policy adopted for mobilization of financial resources from nonmember countries for development in Latin America.


  • Second Increase in Resources: $1.005 billion in the ordinary capital (without cash contribution required).
  • First financing, $9.5 million, for a national telecommunications project to interconnect the four major cities of Bolivia.
  • Central American Bank for Economic Integration authorized to use $3 million from a prior loan to build a telecommunications system between the countries of Central America and Panama and Mexico.
  • The IDB and the Pan American Health Organization support campaigns to combat bovine hoof and mouth disease in South America.
  • The Bank increases it's Financial support of the science and technology sectors and starts to consider loan applications for projects in the tourist sector.
  • First office created for the evaluation of successes and problems of Bank policies and operations, the Group of Controllers of the Review and Evaluation System.

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